Connecticut looks for real estate consultant

The $24.7bn pension system will issue separate requests-for-proposals for a real estate consultant and an alternatives consultant, with plans to award new contracts by the end of the year.

The State of Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Fund
 will launch a request-for-proposal process for a real estate portfolio consultant, according to materials released for its 9 May Investment Advisory Council meeting. That contract will be awarded 1 November, as the state’s contract with current real estate consultant The Townsend Group will expire 28 February, 2013.

A spokesperson for the Connecticut State Treasurer’s office was unavailable for comment at press time. 

The pension system will also issue an RFP for an alternative investments consultant. The pension system’s contract with consultant NEPC is set to expire 13 May, 2013. If the RFP process maintains its schedule, Connecticut will issue the RFP today. The $24.7 billion pension system will then spend the next seven months interviewing candidates, performing due diligence and negotiating contract terms. The contract for the alternative investments consultant role is expected to be awarded 1 December, 2012, according to documents.  

Connecticut classifies alternatives as including opportunistic investments, absolute return strategies, real assets and new ideas/new products, according to its investment policy. The policy defines opportunistic investments as “strategies and structured products including synthetic investment instruments especially designed to address investor needs.”

Traditional private equity investments are handled through the state’s private investment fund, which is advised by Franklin Park. 

As of 31 March, Connecticut had a 5.2 percent allocation to real estate investments.